Good morning mortals! Top Ten Tuesday is here once more and I thought I would set myself a bit of a challenge (why not? life isn’t stressful beyond getting married in 4 days). So I’m attempting to come up with 10 female characters who aren’t daft ‘strong woman’ stereotypes that shield bad writing and also aren’t massive clichés. I feel like choosing fantasy as my genre will make this a nigh on impossible task but we shall see…
I was going to say main characters but I think that would actually kill me.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the beyond amazing The Broke and Bookish. If you don’t already you should head over there and check out the list of all the amazing book bloggers who take part, it’s a great way to find other bloggers who might read the same books as you!
With the possible exception of the wonderfully aggressive squirrel cat, Ferius Parfax was my favourite character in both Spellslinger and the sequel Shadowblack. She’s a card-wielding, cunning character who acts as a mentor but not in an annoying way. I also appreciated the way De Castell didn’t go down the ‘tortured angsty stranger’ route.
Sweet Dreams- Charlie
Charlie is the female protagonist of this adventure into the importance of the safety of the subconscious. What makes her unique from a lot of other female characters in similar stories is her narcolepsy (which as you can imagine makes her job as a dream hacker and interesting one). While her condition does affect her it doesn’t define her and she is the perfect lead character in this sinister story.
I always related to Stephanie as a child. There’s a certain amount of ‘no fucks given’ about her personality that just spoke to me. She’s certainly a little clichéd in some moments but most of the time she defies the stereotype. She also processes things in a very real way, seeing the consequences of her actions which adds to my appreciation for her as a character.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Zuzana
I adore Zuzana she is the best ‘best friend’ character I have ever read and you can really feel that Taylor loves her too. I especially enjoy the way she becomes more and more important as the books go on. So often the ‘best friend’ is left in the dark and is simply the touch stone for the main character to look back towards but Zuzana is almost a main character in her own right. I love her. I want to be her.
Six of Crows-Inej
Need I say more? Inej is actually amazing. I know enough people have said enough about why but it would be a travesty to leave her off this list.
And I Darken-Vlada
Vlada is one of my favourites on this list. She’s unique in that, unlike a lot of YA female main characters, she doesn’t have an aversion to killing people. Vlada does what she needs to get what she wants. It’s not always pretty and I don’t condone a lot of the things she does but it’s a refreshing character all the same.
Our Memory Like Dust-Shakiso
Shakiso is a great character because she defies ‘the box’. one minute she’s freerunning across London the next she’s doing expert political negotiations to help refugees. This book is a little odd but her character is one of the best things about it.
A Natural History of Dragons- Lady Trent
I do think Lady Trent can be a little bit of a cliché at times, the idea of a woman wanting to be a scientist in a man’s world is not unheard of in the real world and in the realms of fantasy. But what I love about these books is the perspective of an older woman looking back on her youth. It adds a dimension to the character that you don’t get in first person novels usually.
Daughter of the Burning City- Sorina
I’m including Sorina on this list, not because the idea of a young girl having powers no-one else has is particularly unique, but because her powers and the illusions she creates are so wonderfully creative. I feel like they give her dimension and breadth as a character. While I know some people have seen ‘the girl with no eyes’ to be a bit weird and nonsensical I found it thoroughly imaginative.
Our eponymous heroine. What I love about Seraphina is just how often she messes up. Whether it’s disguising her true self or in talking to royalty she always seems to get something wrong. It’s not a clichéd bumbling fool narrative, it’s more depicting her as human, as naturally flawed. Add to that all of her character development across the duology and you have one very happy reader!
Do you agree with my picks? Who have I forgotten? Let me know in the comments and be sure to link me to your TTT so I can come check it out!